Rising Sun Lodge #2
Upon being raised and received as a full-fledged brother of the craft, we can at times tend to think that the journey has ended, that the difficult task of the three degrees has been overcome, and now we sit as MASONS. I ask you this my brothers what is a Mason? A Mason by definition in the operative sense of the word is as follows. “A person whose trade is building with units of various natural or artificial mineral products such as stones, bricks, cinder blocks, or tiles, usually with the use of mortar or cement as a bonding agent” Brothers this comes from Webster’s dictionary. A Mason in the speculative sense is defined as follows. “A member of a widely distributed secret order (Free and Accepted Masons) having for its objective mutual assistance and the promotion of brotherly love among its members.”
Let us take a moment and compare the two meanings. A person whose trade is building with units of various natural or artificial mineral products, think about that statement. There stood before you a brother who saw the natural state, imperfect, yet in possession of all the necessary qualifications. He looked at you, examined you, and found you to be of good enough quality to bring forth and add to the construction of this house. He presented you as good timber in the hope and expectation that you would help to keep upright the very foundation of this house.
Upon being presented to the craft you were then physically bonded with other natural and imperfect agents that just like you were being prepared to fulfill their part in strengthening the house. As the physical bonding agent (the cable tow) was removed a spiritual bonding agent (brotherly love) took its place. This “spiritual cementing” has proven to be stronger and longer lasting than any glue, or substance ever created by the hands of man where its sole purpose is meant to tie or bond one object to another.
With the use of tools, like the twenty four inch gauge he emblematically showed you how, to divest your twenty four hour day into the three parts we as Masons have come to live by. He also emblematically began to use the common gravel, as operative masons do in the physical form, yet with this one difference. Spiritually we regard the gavel as a tool that divests our hearts and minds of the excessive or unnecessary amount of time we spend dwelling on that of which we do not need, subsequently investing that thought into more useful and prosperous ventures. Much like the operative mason does with unnecessary or extra portions of his stone. Thus the superfluities of life are diminished and our minds then made to be as living stone, for that spiritual building, that house not made from hands, eternal in the heavens.
He then further cements this bond in two more degrees, along with all the other tools we have been made aware of on our ascension into Masonry. When finally the structure, although be it still imperfect is raised on the square, it is done so with the hope and expectation that all the work invested in attempting to mold this rough ashlar into a somewhat more perfect ashlar will prove its beneficial effects to our honorable institution.
The process however brothers is not completed at that point. As the master calls forth the names on the scroll of life, and the words well done thy good and faithful servant are heard in the ears of the labored saints, the builders of yesterday called upon once again, but this time to fulfill their place in the mansion above. We here in this walk of life travel upon the tiles they laid. We as well must labor with the expectation that one day we too will join with them as spiritual stone, cemented by an everlasting bond, one with our creator. Brothers just as Operative Masons cannot create without the knowledge of the experienced Master Mason his tools and experience, neither my brothers can we hope to become what the creator has destined us to be without working together as one.
As one we must learn together, work together, celebrate together, and if need be brothers cry together, pray together, and unite together under one common cause, one attainable goal. The constant quest for perfection within ourselves and our craft. You your self are a perfect creation, committed to and crafted by hands not of your own. In the same way that you were made, more complex in design then you may ever know, so should we be in the comitment my brothers to this our CREATION!
By Brother Michael Wilson JW Rising Sun Lodge #2